Indoors, my house still looks like this...full Christmas regalia, with the mantle graced by my many Santas and Santa pillows on every chair. And so it will stay for the Twelve Days of Christmas, in spite of neighbors hastening to remove their Christmas trees which will soon be lining the curbs in the streets all around my home, while I prolong this holiday which I so dearly love, the reminder of Love taking flesh and dwelling among and in us as at no other time of the year.
The outdoors, however, tell a different story, as in my front garden, daffodils are about 6 inches tall, cherry trees are in flower here and there in the neighborhood, and irises are a-bloom on Main Street. No sign of winter here...in fact, these more-than-a-few hints of springtime are the result of our schizophrenic December temperatures here in the Piedmont of NC, with many days in the upper 60s and a hard freeze yet to happen. Trees everywhere are budding as Nature seems to be under the impression that springtime is approaching, only to be fooled and foiled if and when wintery weather actually happens.
Kind of reminds me of human life in general, though. We go along easily, everything copacetic and seemingly on an even keel, lulling us into a false sense of security, the perpetual springtime. And when we least expect it or are unprepared for it, we are knocked off our feet by a "happening" which nips our complacency in the bud, reminding us that life is not all springtime, not all moonlight and roses, but wintery and dark and filled with plenty of thorns.
Don't misunderstand me: I am not a pessimist, just waiting for the hard things to happen. I am simply a realist who has lived long enough to know how easy it is to be lulled into a false sense of security and simplicity about life, only to be drawn up short when the other shoe falls. (Full of metaphors this morning, aren't I?) But Nature can teach us a valuable lesson here. When the worst happens in the natural world, when unexpected frosts or storms hit, when the usual patterns of life are disrupted, Nature goes on, relying on all of the resources developed over eons of time, certain that new life, new growth, new blooms will come again, in spite of the setbacks, in spite of the disruptions, in spite of the fact that life is not unfolding as planned.
And so, on this almost-wintery-feeling morning (I actually had to scrape my windshield) I am wishing for you a day filled with resiliance and the ability to adapt to whatever comes your way. I am wishing for you the wisdom and strength to deal with whatever life holds in store and unfolds before you this day. I am wishing for you eyes wide open and arms wide open and a heart wide open to welcome and receive the gift of these next twenty-four hours of living, knowing always that you are loved.